Hundreds of parents gave consent to their children to have series of vaccines called in that time shots. Shots of what? “Salk vaccine or a dummy? No one must know- not the parents, teachers, nurses, doctors, or health officials” (Riedman).
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
We will have to skip almost a complete century and travel to France to talk a little bit about the man who explained the way germs attack the body and how they produce a disease. In 1854 Louis Pasteur thirty-two-year-old started to do some research related to bacteria, viruses, and diseases without knowing it. Two years later he discovered while performing some experiments; bacteria grew and multiplied. Working along with some other doctors and faculty members they started to figure out how they work, what the causes of growing were, and how to beat them. Attenuation was first achieved by Pasteur with the rabies vaccine, but really came into its own with the development of BCG (Attenuated bovine strains of mycobacterium tuberculosis).
Nowadays, diseases and infections can be prevented and depending a lot on the control and eliminating resource they can work on the body, breaking the chain of transmission or increasing the resistance and personal protection by general means: immunization. Many worldwide diseases can be also prevented without the needs of a vaccine because there is enough information over the past years and different control methods that can help to eliminate the source of disease naturally.
While most people are naturally actively immunized for a lifetime against any type of disease or infectious agents, there are many other infections, which do not produce a durable immunity. The lack of durable immunity against some infections is caused by the presence of multiple immunogenic types of organisms within the body.
This type of immunization involves the administration of an antigen which stimulates immunity. In other words this is accomplished by injecting antibodies in such a form of immunoglobulin.
“Live vaccines, as the name implies, consist of agents which are living. They infect and replicate and must be treated with respect. They are readily inactivated by light or when held for any length of time at room temperature and should therefore be stored in a refrigerator. They are inactivated by most disinfectants which should therefore not be used to clean the arm when vaccinating.” (Dick).
Theses types of vaccines consist of suspensions of killed microorganisms that contain some part of the microorganism, which generates immunity.
While active immunity lasts for a variable period and s often very durable, passive immunity usually lasts for only weeks or months. It is achieved either naturally, by the passage of antibodies over the placenta which is the mechanism by which small babies are protected against infectious diseases, or by the injection of immunoglobins.
Special contraindications to individual vaccines will be discussed separately, but the following contraindications apply to all vaccines for effective immunization.
Vaccines should not be given to babies or children who are not in good health. If a child has a severe reaction following a dose of vaccine, then the risk or a similar
Dick, George. Immunisation. London: Update Publications LTD, 1978. Print.
Riedman, Sarah R. Shots Without Guns: The Story of Vaccination. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1964. Print.